One-hat living

One-hat living is about authenticity.

It’s about having the guts to be transparent and honest enough with yourself that you can be transparent and honest with other people.

It means the way people see you at work, home, or play is the same.

It means being painfully honest about what makes you you. What makes you tick, what makes you feel alive, what makes you forget that time is passing.

It means finding the courage to say “No” to the things that don’t. To stop faking it. To stop telling yourself you “have to” live up to expectations.

One-hat living is scary. But it’s immensely fulfilling.

It means you don’t have to freak out when your circles of people overlap for fear that people will find out about another side of you.

It means people can trust you and vouch for you because they know that what they see is what they get. They know what you stand for and believe in and what you will not compromise on.

It means what drives and inspires you at work, home, or play is the same.

It means your work, play, and personal life are related to each other, contribute to each other, and nurture each other.

It means your values and goals are clearly aligned and you can pour all your energy and passion into one single, epic purpose.

How amazing would living like that be?

Now, you might be thinking, “You don’t get it – that’s not possible for my situation!”

Trust me, I get it. I’ve worked part-time and full-time jobs that did not make me want to jump out of bed in the mornings. I’ve done it for the money, as a stepping stone to move on to something better, to put a nice line in my résumé, as part of a contractual bond in return for a scholarship. I’ve pretended to be someone else to the people in my life because I thought that was what they wanted. I’ve felt like I was stifling and suppressing who I was. I’ve told myself and others “That’s life” and wrongly believed “That’s just the way things are”.

One-hat living is rewarding, but it’s also highly difficult.

It’s hard to truly, authentically be yourself in everything you do when you’re limited by finances, opportunities, obligations, or contracts. Some things are just out of our control.

But by no means should we accept those situations as a permanent way of living. They are not.

If anything, they’re meant to get you to a place of such discomfort and unease with living outside your calling that you start seeking ways to get out of that place. You start digging deep and asking yourself what really matters to you. You begin putting ideas and plans into motion to get yourself into a place where you live more from your heart. You seek out the right people who can help get you there.

One-hat living is not some unreachable ideal. Neither is it something you either do or don’t.

You don’t get there overnight. It’s a process.

A journey that will allow you to appreciate things more when you finally find yourself in a place where you can excitedly jump out of bed in the morning and wear the same hat all through the day.

A journey you can start today.

Working against our values only weakens us, professionally and artistically. When we are absolutely clear on our personal values, we are able to make choices based on principles. Decision-making is simple (or at least simpler). Strong judgment brings deeper meaning to our labor and elevates the artistry of work, giving us access to our best abilities. –Matthew E. May


Three things

My goal for this blog is simple: Pick three things that really matter to me. Nurture them. Write about it.

Why three?

I asked myself that question. Two seemed too limited in scope, more than three seemed too many to focus on.

Being the thinker I am, I needed to find some sort of logic for choosing to break things down into three main parts.

So I thought about some of the things that come in threes.

Every epic project, as a great strategist knows, involves planningexecution, and review.

Every story, as a great writer knows, has a beginning, middle, and end.

Every thriving network of relationships, as a great leader knows, comprises of mentors to look up to, peers to journey with, and protégés to pass on your knowledge to.

Which coincidentally, happened to tie back to the things I really cared about.

As a thinker, I like systems that put things in order and cut unnecessary clutter. (simplify.) As a writer, I enjoy plot and structure. (write.) As a friend, daughter, and lover, I treasure relationships as my source of meaning in life. (live.)

I realise that each of these three things are complex in themselves. But by looking at everything in my life as falling into one of these three categories (sometimes overlapping too), I saw that things can be simple. Not simple in terms of being easy to do or understand, but simple, in terms of being pure. Absolute. Sheer. Unadulterated.

These are the things that make me me. The things that keep me up at night and get me out of bed in the morning. Now that I have identified these things, I can start taking steps to nurture them, and get rid of the stuff that doesn’t really matter (that I have been fooled into thinking does).

We only have one life. 24 hours in a day. 60 seconds in a minute.

Why waste it being anything less than what we were created to be?

What are your three things?